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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Dark Age TV - Secrets of the Dark Ages

The Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain was a consequence of the migration of Germanic peoples from continental Germania during the Early Middle Ages, after the demise of Roman rule in the 5th century. These peoples are traditionally divided into Angles, Saxons and Jutes, but historical and archaeological research conducted in the early 20th century suggests that a wide range of Germanic peoples from the North Sea coasts of Frisia, Lower Saxony, and Jutland may have moved to Britain in this era, including Frisians and Franks. In their new homeland, they consolidated into unified Germanic identities through war and other forms of social interaction.

In the late sixth century the king of Kent was a prominent lord in the south; in the seventh century the rulers of Northumbria and Wessex were powerful; for a brief period around the year 616, East Anglia was the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England, and its king Raedwald was Bretwalda (overlord of the Anglo-Saxons kingdoms). In the eighth century Mercia achieved hegemony over the other surviving kingdoms. Successive kings of Wessex (and especially Æthelstan) progressively reinforced the English unitary state, until, with the simultaneous dissolution of Mercia and submission of Northumbria upon Edgar's succession in 959, the old constituent kingdoms in effect became consolidated into one.